The American College of Surgeons (ACS) offers a two-year onsite fellowship in surgical outcomes research, health services research, healthcare policy, diversity, equity and inclusion, and quality improvement. The ACS Clinical Scholar will work in multiple areas within the ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care to advance the quality improvement initiatives of the ACS and to perform research relevant to projects within the ACS. Participants will have access to leaders in surgery and healthcare and will receive extensive mentorship in clinical, statistical, and health services research. During their tenure, scholars will also earn a Master’s degree relevant to their work.
Applicants must have completed two years of clinical training, be a United States citizen, and obtain approval from their home institution to be considered.
The goal of the ACS Clinical Scholar in Residence Program is to help prepare a surgical resident for a career in academic surgery through a unique, practical research and health policy experience at the American College Surgeons. The program includes the opportunity to earn a Master’s of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI), Health Services and Outcomes Research, or Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety through Northwestern University’s Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and the Institute for Healthcare Studies. In addition, the Scholar will be able to participate in resident educational activities through Northwestern University’s department of surgery. The ACS offers a variety of educational programs, such as the Outcomes Research and Clinical Trials Courses that the Scholar will be able to complete.
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The ACS will assign internal mentors to meet regularly with the Scholar. The Scholar will also interact and be mentored by various surgeons affiliated with the ACS and the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care from across the country. As mentorship is one of the most important aspects of the fellowship, having guidance from multiple individuals from varied backgrounds will provide the best opportunity for success. In addition, there is a core of ACS staff statisticians and project analysts who will be invaluable resources for the Clinical Scholar in Residence. Information on several of the program’s mentors can be found online.
The MSCI program is designed for physicians with an interest in conducting clinical research. The coursework focuses on biostatistics, epidemiology, decision analysis, clinical trial design, paper and grant writing, peer-reviewing principles, and clinical research ethics. All coursework is done at Northwestern’s downtown campus, which is one block from the ACS headquarters. Clinical Scholars who have already completed an equivalent program may be exempt from the MSCI requirement.
The goal of this program is to educate clinicians to become effective health services and outcomes researchers. The Health Services and Outcomes Research program will focus on these issues within institutional and healthcare delivery systems, as well as in the external environment that shapes health policy around quality and safety. The program takes approximately two years to complete. All coursework is done at Northwestern’s downtown campus.
The goal of this program is to help clinicians become effective healthcare quality and patient safety thinkers, practitioners, and researchers. The Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety program will focus on disparities in healthcare, health economics and financing, health services research methods, biostatistics, and epidemiology. The program takes approximately two years to complete. All coursework is done at Northwestern’s downtown campus.
The Scholar will be able to continue his or her surgical education through Northwestern University’s department of surgery by attending the weekly morbidity and mortality conference and grand rounds. Scholars have the opportunity to practice their surgical skills at Northwestern’s Surgical Skills Training Lab. Multiple opportunities for clinical moonlighting exist in the Chicagoland area as well. In addition, the Scholar may be able to take the American Board of Surgery In-Service Training Examination (ABSITE) locally.
The Scholar will also have the opportunity to apply for the National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program which pays up to $70,000 over two years if the applicant is involved in clinical research for at least two years. This program is becoming a highly competitive process, and applications are due in the fall prior to starting the Research Fellowship. Most Clinical Scholars have been awarded this loan repayment.
As the Clinical Scholars work closely with the ACS staff and need to complete coursework, it is required that the Clinical Scholar move to Chicago. ACS will provide office space in its downtown Chicago headquarters.